BCTIA Federal R&D Review Letter to Minister Goodyear
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BCTIA Federal R&D Review Letter to Minister Goodyear

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Throughout November 2011, the BCTIA reviewed the recommendations of the Federal R&D Review panel and consulted with member companies in order to formulate feedback. In a letter to Minister Goodyear, ...

Throughout November 2011, the BCTIA reviewed the recommendations of the Federal R&D Review panel and consulted with member companies in order to formulate feedback. In a letter to Minister Goodyear, the BCTIA provides its feedback on the effectiveness of R&D programs.

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BCTIA Federal R&D Review Letter to Minister Goodyear BCTIA Federal R&D Review Letter to Minister Goodyear Document Transcript

  • 30 November 2011The Honourable Gary GoodyearMinister of State for Science and TechnologyHouse of CommonsBuilding: Centre BlockSuite: 646SOttawa, Ontario K1A 0A6Re: Federal R&D Review RecommendationsDear Minister Goodyear,On behalf of the British Columbia Technology Industry Association, we applaud yourefforts in promoting the role of innovation and technology in Canada and wouldencourage your continued openness in receiving feedback on the effectiveness of ourR&D programs.We appreciate the efforts of the Federal R&D Review panel over the past year andcommend the panel for preparing a comprehensive review of the substantive aspects ofour federal R&D programs. Over the past month, we have reviewed the panel’srecommendations in detail and have consulted with our members in order to formulateour feedback for your consideration. 1. Increase support for Commercialization Efforts. We believe that the direct support programs can and should take a more active role in funding commercialization efforts. We support the concept of establishing a national Industrial Research and Innovation Council that would clearly amplify the focus on innovation in Canada as well as providing a long overdue vehicle for consolidating the myriad of more than 100 federally supported programs. We agree with the panel’s recommendation to provide further support for programs like IRAP and an increase of support for commercialization activities. 2. Increase Access to Capital. We agree with the report’s recommendation to expand access to risk capital at both the start-up stage and the growth stage of a company’s lifecycle. We would encourage the federal government to consider adopting the BC Small Business Venture Capital program on a national basis to provide tax incentives for angel investments at the start-up stage.
  • 3. Changes to SR&ED should emphasize certainty and expand eligibility. We do not believe that narrowing SR&ED eligibility to encompass labour-only costs (as recommended by the panel) will have any meaningful effect in enhancing the accessibility (or reduce the complexity) of the program. In fact, any such change would only serve to favour labour-oriented R&D (such as software firms) at the expense of capital-intensive R&D firms (such as aerospace, cleantech and manufacturing). We believe there is far more to be gained in improving the certainty from the outset and reducing the complexity and administration associated with the requirement for contemporaneous documentation and evidence as required by CRA. The report also overlooks one of the key attributes of SR&ED – specifically the program’s role in mitigating the access to capital issue for SMEs. The SR&ED program enables SMEs to compensate for their comparatively lower levels of investment as well as providing capital leverage to attract foreign investment. Additionally, we believe the program should be consistently available regardless of a company’s ownership, CCPC vs. non-CCPC status, and thereby facilitating the increase of foreign direct investment into Canadian tech companies.We hope this feedback will assist you as you review the panel’s recommendations andformulate your decisions in the context of the overall delivery of federal R&Dinvestments. I encourage you to contact me at 604-602-5230 to discuss ourrecommendations in further detail at any time.Sincerely,Bill TamPresident & CEOCC: The Honorable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage & Official Languages